Why do politicians feel this overwhelming need to lie to us?
By Sparta Live | June 4, 2018 6:45 am
Democratic Dialog – By Debra Wines
I know not everyone running for office or already in office is a compulsive liar. I also acknowledge the government (local, state, and federal) does not always tell us the truth or the full truth for legitimate reasons. I understand that. I do not understand this almost obsessive need that some legislators and candidates have to lie, ignore facts, and whip up an audience by making the American public fearful of other people, places, and things.
I am not saying we don’t have anything to fear, but it seems to me that in the last several years that politicians, on both sides, have made it their mission to scare the crap out of us about issues that, on the whole, have very little effect on our daily lives, while they downplay or ignore the issues that actually have a big impact on our daily lives. These so-called “hot button issues” politicians keep pushing down our throats in order to win elections, in my opinion, have gone too far, along with their hypocrisy.
Let’s take one issue that Republicans like to tout – the deplorable state of “family values,” in America. This issue is used to blame a great many of society’s current ills: poverty, an abundance of single mothers; divorce rates; abortion; mental health; gun violence; the civil/human rights given to minorities; lack of respect for people in authority; and religious rights as they pertain to the encompassing term, Christianity. This isn’t the entire list of things blamed on the lack of family values, but, in my opinion, these are some of the top few.
One definition of family values is: “values held to be traditionally learned or reinforced within a family, such as those of high moral standards and discipline.” According to the Webster Dictionary: “family. plural families. 1. the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children; also: any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family. a single-parent family.” There are other definitions that expand the term of a “traditional family” that include blood relatives, friends, and members of a community. I find it amazing that politicians and a large segment of society think that single parents, most commonly naming mothers, are a recent phenomenon. They seemed to believe single-parent families never existed before or at least not in our recent history. They must have forgotten the impact that wars, health epidemics, and incarceration has had on families. It is my impression that this issue of trying to lay the blame of many of our societal ills on single mothers is because of the high divorce rate. It does take two parties to make a marriage and a divorce. Our legislators and those who don’t know any better also like to jump on that bandwagon that “if women knew their place and stay there,” our society would be functioning better.
I find it amusing when these same politicians ignore the fact some of them have been single parents because they were widowed or divorced. It is interesting to me that so many congressmen, senators, state legislators, governors, and our current president have found it easy to walk away from their marriage vows to find mistresses and younger women to marry and contribute to the number of dysfunctional family statistics. I guess we are supposed to ignore those facts, while we join in their rhetoric as they complain about “other people’s behavior.”
Politicians also seem to blame the decline of family values on working women, while they ignore factors that too often make it a necessity for both parents to work. With the financial insecurities that came along, starting prior to the 1980’s and the erosion of the middle class, more and more families found it necessary for women to seek employment outside the home. The minimum wage was no longer sufficient to support a family. The fact that women were choosing to be educated for less traditional jobs, along with the knowledge that more women understood they did not have to get married right out of high school, many of them had the opportunity to explore other options. I remember when the Feminists Movement was decried as the ultimate demise of society as we knew it. This is nothing new when a segment of any society has realized they do not have to bend to old ideas and so-called social-norms. Every generation seeks to make its own path, so to speak. There will always be ups and downs, successes and failures, but, in the long run, these changes do improve society for the majority of people.
My biggest problem with our many politicians and current legislators is they do nothing to help correct the results of their lies and some of their most harmful laws. They keep pushing agendas that no longer work for the majority of people or the reality of living in the 21st century. We have people like Diane Black and Marsha Blackburn who continue to say they support “family values,” but they either vote against everything that would help all families, or they completely ignore the needs of their constituents. They are more concerned with advancing the agendas of Donald Trump and their large campaign donors without regard to the impact it will have on the majority of their constituents and the citizens of America.
One of Diane Black’s recent commercials for her gubernatorial campaign included her saying she would make sure that Tennesseans could keep their guns. No matter what Fox News and the NRA say, no one has advocated the elimination all guns from legitimate gun owners. More and more polls are showing the majority of people want reasonable background checks and enforcement of laws already on the books. Yes, many people want a ban on automatic weapons, silencers, and bump stocks. I don’t think there is a human being on this planet that wants to have more mass shootings, whether they happen at a school, church, restaurant, theater, or any kind of public gathering.
Diane Black claims that pornography, easily available at any grocery store, is one of the things to blame for mass shootings. I’m curious as to what kind of grocery stores she shops at, because unless she’s counting magazines like the National Enquirer among types of pornography, I haven’t seen any pornography at any grocery store I’ve visited. She also blames violent movies and video games and poor mental health treatment, but those were not her top issues. The fact that mental health treatment and inpatient facilities have dwindled over the last several decades is an issue our legislators should be addressing. The amount of people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions has been on the rise, but the overall ability of professionals to deal with these situations has been stymied due to lack of funding and insurance companies that have either eliminated or have severely limited coverage.
We must stop electing politicians who keep telling us what is good for the “goose” (themselves) isn’t good for the “gander (the rest of us). We can no longer afford to keep electing the same politicians who tell us they have our best interests at heart, when they allow our president and his administration to dismantle rules and regulations that have provided us with a safer environment; tried to make our educational system better for all students; provided basic healthcare for all; protected all consumers from predatory lenders; and kept banks more honest; led the way for renewable energy and better paying jobs in those fields; protected the sanctity of our elections; treaties that keep us competitive and safe; and have most of all protected us from those who want to destroy our democratic way of life.
I’ve noticed very few legislators up for re-election or running for a different office have addressed the majority of these issues nor have they really addressed one major issue with any kind of viable solutions, and that is our infrastructure. What will it take for these people to quit dwelling on the “religious beliefs” of others and their own hypocritical behavior and do something about the REAL problems that face everyone on every economic level? Even the very rich use our roads, bridges, airports, and tunnels. They should also keep in mind that everyone will suffer if we do not have clean air to breathe, water to drink, or land to grow our food. The politicians who put their greed before doing what is right for the people may be rudely awakened when they find their ill-gotten gains can’t save them from the damage they have allowed to happen socially, economically and environmentally. As voting Americans, we must demand a better quality of representation in our government offices. We need to use our right, as voters, to make it clear we want truthful, ethical, and hard-working people to represent us.